Booted out of her New York apartment by her exasperated partner, Gloria finds herself back in her childhood town, sleeping on the floor of her now empty family home. Having been out of work for over a year Gloria’s life has become a toxic cycle of heavy late night drinking and sleeping through the day time. With no money and no job she returns to the small town in an attempt to sort her life out. Reconnecting with her close friend from her junior school days she finds herself working in his bar and falling back into the trap of after hours beers, repeated black outs and groggy morning afters. Another layer or chaos and confusion wraps itself around Gloria when a gigantic and unidentified creature begins to appear in Seoul, reeking havoc upon the city for a few minutes each day. It quickly becomes apparent that Gloria’s behaviour and drunken antics may be connected to these shocking events and she must suddenly face up to the fatal consequences of her destructive choices and the ‘colossal’ kaijū. Marketing itself as an alternative indie comedy, Colossal will certainly not be to everyone’s taste – especially when it takes a very different direction to the one you may initial expect. With the star power of Anne Hathaway at its centre, Colossal is sure to attract a certain type of audience. However, it’s a film that would sit most comfortably in between a triple billing of Young Adult and The Skeleton Twins. Hathaway gives a performance with the same enduring grit and realness of both Charlize Theron and Bill Hader; a stirring, tragic performance.
Our lead actor is complemented well by Jason Sudeikis whose small town charm makes him the perfect, formulaic high school friend, forever trapped in the town he grew up in. Similarly to the other indie hits mentioned above, Colossal is about the pain and frustration of f**king up, again and again. It’s a metaphorical tale about self-destruction, self-hate and meditates on the bleak realisation that adult life is never the simple, straight forward, happy future your teen-self envisioned. Not without its faults, Colossal is about very dis-likeable white people consciously drinking themselves into an early grave in Middle-America. The monster that features heavily in the film’s trailer is very much in the background, there to clumsily and repeatedly drive home its metaphor. It’s all a rather heavy handed affair but Colossal is far more interesting then most of the other films in UK cinemas this week. There is limited wit, limited tension and limited action so it’s quite a hard film to categorise. Thankfully there is enough style and creative intention to engage from start to finish. I was expecting the film to fall apart in its climatic final thirty minutes but I was delighted to find that it didn’t deteriorate. I was impressed with the film’s self awareness and knowledge of the tropes it should throw a curve ball at. By no means a classic or a catastrophe, Colossal is ambitious and original, two qualities I simply can’t criticise it for.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.